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Why Dealing With Difficult Team Members Will Lead to Happier Clients

By: Ron Kaufman
Posted: January 2, 2013, from the January 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Shift your perspective. Stop thinking of your colleague as “difficult” and start thinking about the difficulty she is experiencing, and how you can serve her in the current situation. Once you realize what a difficult situation means to another person, you can approach the issue with more compassion, generosity, empathy and patience. This is far more effective for both parties than concluding that another person is difficult all the time or is always overreacting.

Work on the problem together. A “difficult” person often behaves that way because she is trying to get something she needs, or is trying to make something happen. She probably thinks the only way she can get her colleagues’ attention is by outwardly showing her anger. But the way to get better service is to be a better customer ... and the same goes for getting help desired from colleagues.

Plan how you’ll work together. One way to defuse a difficult situation is to pull out a piece of paper and decide what actions each of you will take next. This helps remove emotional tension and gets everyone down to work.

Role model the right behavior. One of the best ways to make this behavior a part of your company culture is to role model it yourself. This can be done from any position in the organization: the top, middle or frontline. Eventually, your colleagues will see how you handle these situations and how well your approach leads to positive action.

Think about it like this: The “difficult” co-workers are simply people seeking service. Being able to recognize and reconcile those situations internally is just as important as being able to recognize when a client interaction has gone south. With surprising service coming from the inside, it’s easier to step up your service on the outside. And when that happens, everyone at the skin care facility wins.